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Red,White Blue and Lavender--Let's Celebrate

By Jane Butel  June 28, 2019

I bet you are wondering what my headline means.   For the Fourth of July--we all know they are the true colors to celebrate the Fourth of July, our flag and our loyalty to all that America means.  Food-wise--it is fun to celebrate  with red, white and blue foods.  We offer Southwestern versions of all three.  Plenty of red chiles, blue corn meals and masas and white posole and masa. 

Since  blue  is a rather difficult food color, I thought you might like celebrating Fourth of July starting with blue corn pancakes made with blueberries and a topping of red strawberries and white whipping cream or yogurt.  We have  tasty blue corn pancake and muffin mixes that I am putting on sale at 25% off to help you celebrate.

And what is more American that chili?  I even worked a few years to make it our national food--then had to quit as it was taking too much time.  Just to help you celebrate the fourth with good old fashioned chili--I am putting it on a 2 day half price sale and offering  both my favorite Bowl o Red Chili  and the Midwestern chili recipes.  And--once you make a batch of chili, it only improves with freezing.  

As for the white--posole is the dish of all blessings and a delicious and fun food to make as 1 pound makes 12 to 16 servings and freezes really well.  And it is very special when served Mexican style with lime wedges, radish slices, thinly shredded cabbage and perhaps avocado chunks.

The Lavender stands for my very special, new Lavender Class featuring all kinds of lavender recipes, loads of lavender to take  home as well as the lavender jam we will be making along with several surprising dishes we will be creating with Lavender.  You will both enjoy cooking with lavender as well as sampling the dishes and taking home  samples.  It is not too late to register.

I am so late with this blog this week due to way too many appointments and celebrations--it was my birthday and I could not say no to having fun and celebrating...so enjoy this blog and will be back in just a few days.

We still have space in our other day classes, weekends and week long classes as well as our Oaxaca tour--we are taking reservation for each and to make sure you can get into the class or tour you wish--register now!

Here's the recipes-- have a great weekend!

The influence behind this chili recipe came from my maternal grandfather, who when as an executive with the Santa Fe Railroad learned how to prepare it from the “cookies,” or trail cooks.  It has won numerous chili cook-offs and is one of the really true original chilis.

2 Tablespoons shortening, preferably solid shortening such as lard or butter
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 pounds beef chuck, cut into ½-inch cubes
3 medium-size garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼ cup ground hot chile or to taste
¼ cup ground mild chile
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
About 3 cups water
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1. Heat lard in a large heavy pot over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until softened.  Remove from heat.

2. Add meat, garlic, ground chiles and half the cumin to the pot.  Break up any lumps.  Stir in the water and salt.  Return to heat.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 2-1/2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender and the flavors are well blended.  Add more water if necessary.  Taste, adding balance of cumin and adjust seasonings.

3.    Serve with fixin’s ‘n mixins’ of coarsely grated cheeses, pickled jalapenos, chopped onion and sour cream with lime wedges garnished with a “ruffle” of red chile.


Easy to prepare, this chili recipe calls for a combination of coarsely ground and finely ground meat, giving the finished product a nice texture. You might like to substitute butter beans for the pinto beans as some Midwesterners do.

Yield: 10-12 Servings

3 pounds beef chuck, coarse chili grind

2 pounds beef chuck, hamburger grind

2 large onions, coarsely chopped

5 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 Tablespoon hot red chile

5 Tablespoons mild red chile

3 Tablespoons ground cumin

3 teaspoons salt

3 cups water

2, 15-ounce cans tomato sauce

2, 28-ounce cans peeled whole tomatoes

4 cups freshly cooked pinto beans, drained (or 2, 16-ounce cans)

  1. Add the meat, onions, and garlic in a heavy 5-quart pot or Dutch oven. Break up any lumps with a fork and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the meat is evenly browned.
  2. Stir in the ground chile, 1/2 of the cumin, and salt, thoroughly blending the mixture. Add the water, tomato sauce, and tomatoes, mashing them with a fork.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then, lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 1 1/2 hours. Stir occasionally.
  4. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding the remaining cumin. Stir in the beans and simmer, uncovered, 1/2 hour longer.




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